net neutrality

This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.

Earlier this week, with the help of three Republicans, the Senate Democrats managed to pass a resolution in order to save net neutrality before its upcoming repeal in June.  That means net neutrality lives to fight another day.  For how long though, remains to be seen.  The Democrat counterparts in the House are trying to get enough signatures in order to force a similar vote.  Right now they have 90 Democrats, but they still need over 20 Republicans to break ranks and sign on.  Even though I said that this fight lives to see another day, it’s certainly an uphill battle.

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) introduced a discharge petition allowing the House to force a vote if half of the representatives sign on. This is an action that will get around the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.  Obviously, Ryan would stall any kind of motion presented which would attempt to save net neutrality.  This is still an early move in a long campaign, however, as Democrats would need to conceivably convert more than a score of Republicans in the actual House vote.

net neutrality

Ok, when I said it was an uphill battle, that was an understatement.  The Senate Democrats only have three Republicans on their side.  Which is only 3% of that chamber.  It will take a ton of convincing to even convert 5% of the House.  Per the Electronic Frontier Foundation, 160 representatives have pre-committed to voting for the bill if it should reach the House floor. But it could take some time to gather all the signatures.

But let’s not be negative.  What happens if they get the votes?  The resolution would rollback FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s recent order under the Congressional Review Act.  And that rollback would restore the 2015 rules against paid prioritization and throttling.  Net neutrality is very popular and as such, there is the opportunity for House Republicans to change sides on the issue.  I don’t think that the President will change his mind, but I think it’s important for net neutrality to exist, so I’m crossing my fingers.

net neutrality

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) made the following statement:

“There is nowhere to hide, and there are no excuses.  You are either for a free and open internet or you are not”.

And that’s what this is about, isn’t it?  And perhaps this is what is going to tip the scales for some Republicans.  Even if you’re not in favor of an open Internet, as a politician, you have to be careful what message that sends to your constituents.  Especially if you want to be re-elected.  Now, I am not a political expert, and I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can certainly see this as the argument to whip Republicans in line with net neutrality.  How the president will come down on this issue, remains to be seen.  I am not confident that he will change his mind.  He is very stubborn and I think, if anything, he’s going to stick to his guns even harder.  Which means, if it comes to it, I think he will veto this particular resolution.